Opinions Feb. 14, 2020

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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Thursday.
Brandi Lutes v. United Trailers, Inc.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Robert L. Miller.
Civil. Affirms in part and reverses in part the district court’s entry of summary judgment for United on the estate of Buddy Phillips’ wrongful termination claim. Affirms judgment for United on Phillips’ retaliation claim but reverses and remands for proceedings on his claim of interference with his rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Southwest Allen County Fire Protection District and Tera K. Klutz, in her official capacity as Auditor of Allen County, Indiana v. City of Fort Wayne
Civil plenary. Affirms and reverses in part the grant of summary judgment in favor of Fort Wayne on its request for declaratory judgment to receive tax revenues from annexed territories. Finds the city is entitled to receive the future tax revenues from the fire protection services it provided to the annexed territories. Also finds the city is not entitled to past revenues. Finally, finds the city is entitled to tax revenues between May 2016 and February 2019, if the city availed itself of the administrative remedy to appeal the auditor Tera Klutz’s allocation. Remands to the Allen Superior Court for determination of whether the city timely appealed the tax revenues allocated between May 2016 and February 2019. Judge Nancy Vaidik concurs and dissents in part with separate opinion.

Mahamud Sharif v. Brandon Cooper, City of Indianapolis, and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
Civil tort. Reverses the Marion Superior Court’s dismissal of Mahamud Sharif’s complaint against Brandon Cooper, the City of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 41(E). Finds the trial court abused its discretion by granting the city’s motion to dismiss. Remands for further proceedings. Judge Elaine Brown dissents with separate opinion.

Cody E. Reynolds v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Cody Reynolds’ conviction in Allen Superior Court of Level 4 felony child molesting and Level 6 felony vicarious sexual gratification and his 11-year sentence with nine years executed in the Department of Correction. Rejects his arguments on appeal that jurors were biased against him; that testimony and evidence from a forensic interviewer was improperly admitted; and that the evidence was insufficient. Finally, finds Reynolds has not established that his sentence was inappropriate.

Janie L. Givens v. Troy Givens (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms the Owen Circuit Court’s order on parenting time and finding Janie Givens in contempt. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion.

In the Matter of: E.W., J.F., and A.W. (Minor Children) And S.W. (Mother), And C.T. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services, And Child Advocates, Inc. (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s finding that minor children E.W., J.F., and A.W. are children in need of services. Finds that father waived several of his appellate claims and his Fourth Amendment rights were not violated. Finds the Department of Child Services and the trial court did not violate any CHINS procedural statutes, and that the trial court’s CHINS determination was supported by the evidence and was not clearly erroneous.

Jesse Waymire v. State of Indiana (mem. dec. )
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Jesse Waymire’s probation. Finds sufficient evidence to support that Waymire committed additional offenses while on probation. Finds no abuse of discretion.

In re the Guardianship of Benjamin Jack, an Incapacitated Person, Alex Jack (Father) v. Christine Jack (Mother) (mem. dec.)
Guardianship. Affirms the Marshall Circuit Court’s order naming Alex and Christine Jack as co-guardians of their son. Finds no abuse of discretion in the trial court’s decision.

Willie Steverson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Willie Steverson’s conviction of Level 5 felony battery. Finds the Vanderburgh Circuit Court did not err or abuse its discretion in declining to give a proposed instruction or in excluding evidence of the victim’s pending CHINS case.

Danielle A. Leavell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms an order that Danielle Leavell serve six years of her aggregate seven-year sentence for conviction of neglect of a dependent, a Level 6 felony; cruelty to an animal, a Class A misdemeanor; conspiracy to commit child exploitation, a Level 5 felony; and two Counts of possession of child pornography, as Level 5 felonies. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses or her character.

C.H. v. Community Health Network (mem. dec.)
Mental health. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s order granting Community Health Network, Inc.’s petition for temporary involuntary commitment of C.H. Finds the trial court made the requisite findings to support the temporary commitment order. Also finds Community presented sufficient evidence to sustain the trial court’s conclusion that C.H. was gravely disabled.

Gerald L. Stokes v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s denial of Gerald Stokes’ motion to reconsider its denial of his petition for good time credit. Finds that although he is a pro se litigant, Stokes’ argument comprises just more than one page and lacks cogency. Finds he has waived review of his argument pursuant to Indiana Appellate Rule 46(A)(8).

Anthony Steele v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Anthony Steele’s murder conviction in Marion Superior Court. Finds sufficient evidence to negate Steele’s self defense claim.

Jeffrey D. Shanks v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Jeffrey Shanks’ probation and the imposition of his previously suspended sentence. Finds the Madison Circuit Court properly revoked a portion of Shanks’ probation and the issue regarding the propriety of the sanction imposed is moot.

Kenneth Eugene Bardonner v. Clendening, Johnson, & Bohrer, P.C. (mem. dec.)
Civil collection. Affirms the Monroe Circuit Court’s summary judgment in favor of Clendening, Johnson & Bohrer, P.C. against Kenneth Bardonner on Bardonner’s counterclaim for legal malpractice. Finds no genuine issue of material fact exists that Bardonner’s counterclaim is without merit and therefore cannot defeat CJB Attorneys’ claim for unpaid legal fees pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 13(J). Judge Nancy Vaidik dissents with separate opinion.

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